A new me for 2017…..

A new me for 2017…..

OK, the title may be a bit misleading….. I’m not really a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.  Waiting for a date on a calendar as a reason to set some arbitrary resolution you may or may not have any intention of keeping, just isn’t my style.  I do have a bit of something going on that may seem like a New Year’s resolution, but in reality the process started a while ago.  I’m working on improving me for the year and making 2017 an truly excellent year.

2016 was a bit of a struggle as some may know (I will share more about that in the future I’m sure), but things had been looking up health wise as the year went on.  Then in the fall of this year we got sent to a work presentation by Darci Lang entitled Focus on the 90%.  Generally I don’t get a lot out of the inspirational wellness speaker presentations, but this one was different.  Darci had a very simple but powerful message about focusing on the positive and not the negative, and carrying that idea into many aspects in your life.  If you havent seen her speak I highly recommend going.  It was a bit of a boost for me to start looking back at my tough 2016, picking out the positives and how I could make more of those in 2017.

So the first thing on my list is my health.  I want to be a better version of me, health wise.  I’ve always found gyms to be to intimidating for a beginner, and I’ve tried and failed to do the home workout thing.  I wanted this to be successful so I wanted to do it different.  So I ended up meeting with Andrea at Train for Life.  I see it as an investment in me.  I started out one on one with her 3 times a week and now I’ve moved into groups 2 times a week.  I did a fitness test to set a baseline where I was at and now I plan on working to get better.  So far it has been challenging, but in life, anything worth doing always is.  I’m so glad I found Andrea, she is keeping me focused and on point.

So that’s what is up with me.  I’m already starting to feel even better and I plan to be flying around the base paths this summer.

Stay happy my friends!  All for now – J

Shoot Outs Suck

Shoot Outs Suck

OK, admittedly, I’m not the biggest hockey fan. I maybe watch 5-10 hockey games a year, and rarely start to finish. Last night was no exception. I had plans to work out with my trainer (my newest mission to get healthy), so I got home in time to catch the last few seconds of regulation before overtime in the Can vs USA World Juniors gold medal game. Immediately upon turning on the game, I had the thought that I’m sure many did…. I sure hope this doesn’t go to a shootout.

Sadly, overtime solved nothing and to a shootout it went. Now many will say it is sour grapes, complaining about the shootout since we lost. Some will say that no one would gripe if we had won. To this I say BS. Win or Lose, shoot outs suck.

Now I get why the shoot out came in to play in hockey. During the long grind of a regular season, with TV contracts in play, dealing with multiple overtime periods was a headache, and they needed a solution. I still don’t like it (much like I don’t like 4 on 4 overtime) but I get it. But at least they had the sense to not do it in playoffs. Shoot outs decide the game without many aspects of what makes the game great. Great passing, great defense, great forecheck, etc. It brings it all down to a skills competition. Not something that should decide a championship. Everyone that played the game deserved better than that.

Consider other sports. Baseball…. imagine if they went to a HR derby after 1 extra inning. Curling…. if they decided the Brier on a draw to the button. Football…. sudden death field goal kicking. You can see where this is going. Imagine if a championship was decided in such a fashion? It is quite ridiculous.

I’m not taking away anything from the USA hockey team. Congrats to them. They may very well have won anyways, they were after all favored. But didn’t they deserve to win it during an actual period of hockey, like a great championship *team*?

All for now,

PS – Kudos to Team Canada on the great run and a silver medal. Before the tournament you would be hard pressed to find a hockey *expert* that had them winning it all. I think those boys have it tougher than any of the other teams, wearing the maple leaf on the front and carry the Canadian hockey expectations on their back. I would have loved the victory, but a silver medal is nothing to be disappointed about.

Election Day

Election Day

Today is election day in #Warman (and I believe all civic elections in Saskatchewan).  I already did my civic duty, I voted in an advanced poll.  The issues in this election of utmost importance to me are:

– open, accountable, and engaging the community to offer the best representation. I want city hall to be working with community and its partners in productive ways.
– safety, we have a need for a more visible RCMP or Police presence in Warman to help curb the rising crime problem
– business, we need to fill the business spaces we have open, find creative ways to get more retailers in and keep our existing businesses healthy. Properly engage and work with the local Chamber of Commerce whenever possible
– health care, our clinic needs to retain and attract more doctors and we need to be able to service our residents health care needs without constantly travelling to the other cities. family practice, bloodwork, etc.
– fiscally responsible, when we need to spend money, spend it wisely on things taxpayers need or have identified want. have a larger vision of how you can drive business and tourism within our city when spending tax dollars. I’d also examine how much land we have being serviced and if we need to do anymore until the stock we have is being used.
– a code of conduct must be enacted for our mayor and council. I only became recently aware we didn’t have one at all. Regardless who is voted in, this is very important. It is helpful to mayor/council to know what is and isn’t acceptable, and puts the city in a better place to deal with complains and issues with guidelines clearly drawn up. Here is the code of conduct for the City of Saskatoon as an example: https://www.saskatoon.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-clerk/code_of_conduct_for_members_of_city_council.pdf I encourage you to read it and see if you think this is important to be in place.

This is the first time I’ve ever really gotten passionate in an election, and certainly the first time I supported a candidate with a sign on my lawn. But based on the things I’ve seen in my 6+ years in Warman and the ways things are working (or not working) I felt it important to use my voice whenever possible. Positive Change.

If any of these are concern to you, and you want to know how I voted, PM me. I can tell you whom I voted for and why I thought they were the best candidates for the concerns above.  I chose mine based on the criteria above, and who I thought would have the best plan to tackle those issues and who is going to engage with the taxpayers best during their term (not just at the months, weeks, days leading up to this election)

And regardless your candidate, go vote. #votewarman

PS – this post is Public, feel free to share. My views and opinions belong to me and are my own. They do not imply any support from any third party.

Warman Chamber of Commerce – my time as director

Warman Chamber of Commerce – my time as director

Two years ago I let my name stand and was voted on to the board of directors with the Warman Chamber of Commerce. Today marks the last day of my term. It is a little bitter sweet saying goodbye as it was really rewarding work and with our wonderful group, we were able to accomplish a lot, more than most realize.

First off I want to thank my fellow directors, both past and present. It was an engaging bunch of business minds that had a great balance of working together and pushing each other.  The work ethic and the dedication of this group is quite amazing. I learned a lot and have made some valuable and lasting relationships with some really great people.  Thank you to Jamie, our executive director, our board wouldn’t have been able to come nearly so far without you.

Secondly, to the other businesses out there, join your chamber of commerce, attend the functions, if you can spare the time sit on the board of directors. Your expertise and partnership will be invaluable to the people around you and selfishly, you will benefit a lot. As a member we have benefited so much from the relationships we built and information we shared, and will continue to do so. The membership fee and time spent will more than make up its value I assure you.  We are a better business because of it.

And lastly, I wish the new board of directors continued success. My hope is that you continue to grow and do the excellent work that began with the hard workers before me. I hope to see you celebrate your accomplishments a bit more in the future so people know the excellent work being done for our community. The Warman & Martensville Business Excellence awards, the vendor lounge a the Warman Open for Business Expo, the annual golf tournament, the Service with a Smile customer service award, the Warman business map, the advocation for local business like lobbying against the Planning Bylaw that so nearly passed, the formation of the Physician Recruitment & Retention Committee. These are just some of the many things your chamber of commerce has been able to accomplish.

I’m confident with the bright and talented people forming the new board of directors, our Warman Chamber of Commerce will only continue on this path to success.

Thank you again for having me and for all that I was able to learn. I look forward to seeing everyone at the wonderful Warman Chamber of Commerce business functions.


Back from the Banjo Bowl

Back from the Banjo Bowl

Well, we made it back from another Banjo Bowl trip.  This year we took most of the week to make a family vacation of it.  We traveled by way of Weyburn to break up the long drive and to have a visit with Grandma & Grandpa Siwy.  Our first stop on the way was to see Grandma Janice and check out her fancy bird hotel. (She was featured in a full page article in the Indian Head newspaper!)  After a quick visit, some snacks and a care package we continued on our way.  We tried catch up with some cousins too but the timing didn’t work out… so on to Weyburn for the night.    Home cooked meal, a good nights rest and off we went to Winnipeg.

We spent a couple nights in the Holiday Inn – Winnipeg Airport West.  The place was under a bit of construction but it was quiet and the staff was very friendly. The place had a nice suite for us that gave us a separate room for bedtime (perfect for putting Cole down for the night while we stayed up to watch a movie).  It also had a nice pool area with an awesome play structure that Cole enjoyed.   We spent a fair amount of our time those two days enjoying the facilities, but we did manage to venture out to check out the Lego store!  Cole was in heaven, so much so that he had trouble narrowing down a choice to take home.  He opted to go with a Lego Batman Car.

On checkout day, we planned to meet out friends at the Manitoba Children’s Museum to spend the day.  To our surprise (and sadness) the museum was closed for most of the week.  Apparently they close this week every year to do a massive clean, but I suggest they revisit that.  There were a LOT of parents that made the same mistake we did.  At least there was a fun playground there to kill some time.

Next stop, and our home for a few days, was the Johnson residence, just outside of Rosenort, MB.  I always enjoy going to the football game, but this is always our highlight of the trip, catching up with old friends.  They have 3 boys around Cole’s age, so it was adventure city for our time there.  They spent a bunch of time playing outdoors and then back inside for some Lego building sessions.  Erin was even able to sneak in some family photos.  I also took a few hours to travel to Steinbach to catch up with an old friend from my high school days.  We had a quick bite and had a chance to catch up on the families and what is new.  Happy to hear he is still a Rider fan!

On the Saturday, we were lucky enough to get a sitter (2 actually) that would watch the boys while we were off the Winnipeg to watch the banjo bowl.  There was a bit of nervousness going as this year our beloved Roughriders are in the tank.  We got there and I was surprised to find out Brendan had hooked us up with some *premo* seats.  We were sitting at the 55 yard line, and had food and beverage service in our seats.  We were surrounded by fans in blue, but only took a beat of good-natured ribbing and had some good conversations with the locals.  Sadly the game was pretty bad, too many penalties, far too common of the new CFL lately.

Sunday we hit the highway and headed back to Weyburn.  The timing was a bit better this way and we were able to catch up with the cousins this time.  I got to meet the little ones and we had a little backyard playtime before heading back to Weyburn to take in the KFC All You Can Eat Buffet!  I always joke about going there and this time the in-laws had it planned for us to coincide with the Customer Appreciation Week.  I can say, I don’t KFC as much as I used to.  That probably is a good thing.  Another nights sleep and back home to close out the vacation.  It went WAY too fast and WAY too much time on the car, but it was great to catch up with old friend and get the see another Roughrider road game.

Upon my return I heard about an incident involving a young fan getting beer poured on them at the game.  I took to twitter to voice my opinion that all the Winnipeg fans shouldn’t be painted with the same brush as the offenders that did this.  We had this happen a few years ago when some manure was dumped on a players driveway (or neighbors driveway to be more accurate).  It is not representative of the fans, and that we were treated very well.  That led to my second CBC interview on the radio in a couple weeks as CBC Manitoba interviewed me for the noon show to discuss our experience and as my thoughts.  You can listen to the interview here:


For those that didn’t hear my earlier interview, it was with CBC Saskatchewan regarding the Khalif Mitchell signing.  I never did get an audio version of it, but you can read a bit about it on the CBC Saskatchewan website.  It was a neat experience making it on to the radio a couple times… hopefully I can do it again some time.  And I’m happy to say Mitchell’s time with the Roughriders is already done.

That’s all for now,


Another ball season in the books… going out Champions!

Another ball season in the books… going out Champions!

Well, another season of slopitch has come and gone. We wrapped up the weekend in style. After over twenty years playing ball, I finally was a able to cross one goal off the list. Our team won the SPN Coed ‘C’ division provincial championship. We started off so-so on Saturday losing 2 of 3 with a really tough schedule. We held tight for a while against one of the best teams in the province, The Dream Team (2016 Intermediate ‘A’ NSA World Series champs) but came up just short. We then lost a heartbreaker to the PA Astros (eventual SPN Coed ‘B’ division co-champions) before we righted the ship against Regina Reign. That put us in the tough ‘C’ division (2nd from the top, SK doesn’t run an ‘A’ coed event).

We started off Sunday with all guns blazing against a tough veteran Pilsner Power team. We were able to hold off a late rally to pull that one out. Next up came a VERY tough Steelers team (2014 Coed D National Champions, 2015 Coed C Silver medalists, currently the top team in the Saspa league). Luckily we were able to keep the hot bats rolling and we were able to upset the Steelers. That put us in the final against Got Bush from Unity, another very solid team. Defense was the focus of this game, as both teams put on a display. We were able to put up a few early and hold off a last minute charge to win by 1 run. Winning a championship is always rewarding, but when you do it against very tough teams, against friends/players that you respect a lot, it means that much more knowing how tough the road was.

It was a nice way to finish off a tough season. This year I’ve been battling illness a bit and to be honest, for the first half of the season even going to the diamonds was difficult. It is the first time I can recall not wanting to play ball. The coed team also struggled in league this year, and I struggled a bit to find my place on the new squad. The men’s team (White Sox) had a pretty decent year and is a great group of guys, so that was a bit of a pick me up when I was fighting to enjoy the season. Things finally started to pick up in July and it started to become fun again. I was finally starting to feel a bit more like myself, and we had a really fun tourney in Aberdeen that helped a lot. We wrapped up with a silver medal at Nationals with the Jays, a 3/4 finish at Provincials with the White Sox, and this Provincial Championship with the Jays. I was happy to have accomplished a lot. As I told my teammates, my one goal this year when joining the Jays was to help this team get over the hump, so getting a Provincial Title was extra rewarding. I finally felt like I contributed what I was hoping for, and they reward me with helping me accomplish something I’ve wanted for so long.

So, the gear is going to be packed up again for another winter. Now I get to take a week and head to Winnipeg with the family for a vacation to make up for some lost time. They sacrifice so much by allowing me to be absent and enjoy my biggest passion. So next week I hope to make up for a bit of lost time and have a really fun week off with them. I then look forward to the fall when I get to start curling again for the year. The White Sox qualified for Nationals next summer, so I’m looking forward to taking the men’s team to a Nationals event for the first time next year. I’m sure I will be doing a little bit of fundraising and sponsor hunting this winter to prepare for that (anyone looking to sponsor a competitive team heading to Nationals, please let me know!), so I guess ball won’t be completely off my mind until spring 🙂

Thanks for a great season everyone, and I look forward to next year,


PS – Red, your picture is always creepy.

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